Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – PA’s Voter ID law stands, for now

Poll workers are appreciated. But they need to know how to do the job asked of them if this isn’t all to be a sham. -microsoft clip art

In Pennsylvania, the GOP/TP “suddenly” became alarmed by all of the voter fraud.  They can’t show that it happens in any numbers above fractions of a percent, but oh, they did need to change the laws.  Funny how it wasn’t a problem for them UNTIL a Democrat who happened to not be “white” won the presidency. This Voter ID law is still in effect, a preliminary injunction being denied by Judge Simpson. 

Now, I vote and I find it is my duty.  I have already shown my ID at during the primaries.  However, what I noted, that though the poll workers are doing their best, they have no way to determine if I was whom I said I was. They looked at my ID.  It was several years, and at least 30 pounds ago (yay, South Beach Diet).  I’m guessing that they looked at the expiration date too.  So?  Nothing says that can’t be changed.  I can also pretty much accurately guess that few of these people have ever seen a US passport or have any idea what colleges are in Pennsylvania or anywhere.  

I was curious, just what training do they get for this ever-so important new law.  Well, per the Department of State website: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/poll_worker_training/12373  the training videos still up on it have that they have to ask for ID, and a power bill, bank statements,  voter registration card, etc are still perfectly fine as ID.  Am I being too harsh on the DOS for not updating its website?  I don’t think so, since it’s the only thing I’ve found so far on how poll workers are trained and this video is at best from: Modified Date: 11/23/2009 01:21 PM  I update a website as part of my job.  If I can do it, so can they, especially for such an important matter.  There are *no* excuses that are acceptable. 

So, what training have they gotten since the Voter ID bill was made into law.  Well, that’s seems to be a mystery.  It seems like none (please anyone who knows different let me know).  And I find that to be a problem.  We have elected officials who have no idea what was in the law, as I noted in a prior post,  and here, and we seem to have poll workers with no documented training either.  Not even Governor Corbett or Secretary of State Aichele knew what was in it either. 

And still Judge Simpson decided to let the nonsense stand.  Judge Simpson, are you often in the habit of allowing baseless claims be brought and allowing them to stand? I’d rather hate it if you were my judge and the prosecution made such baseless claims about something I supposedly did and had no evidence of it.  For the Corbett Administration to make claims that “widespread voter fraud” was the reason for the law, and you not to require evidence of this, it seems that you are indeed not interested in facts but in providing for a method of people to be restricted in their right to vote.  

Some quotes from the decision:

“”This is because the process of implementation in general, and of public outreach and education in particular, is much harder to start, or restart, than it is to stop,” – page 15 

A baseless claim. If you are so interested in harm done, show these claims of yours to be true, Judge Simpson. The only harm you seem to be concerned with is harm to the Corbett Adminsitration and the Department of State.  It is a manufactured harm thanks the late sudden concern about voter fraud (and still as of yet unshown fraud) and the attempt to ramrod this law through the legislature without sufficient time to implement it. 

“While his response in the transcript was equivocal, everyone in the courtroom could see his reaction: alarm, concern, and anxiety at the prospect of an injunction. His demeanor tells the story.” – page 16 

Well, here’s a skill I didn’t know judges had, the ability to read minds. It’s also amusing that Judge Simpson says that “everyone in the courtroom” agrees with his interpretation. 

The judge still seems to think that money magically comes to people if they really really want it.  Alas, if I don’t have the cash to get a birth certificate one week, I likely will not have it the next. I can remember being *that* poor, contemplating stealing toilet paper from work since I didn’t think I’d have enough to buy it, eating less so my husband could have more.  People like Judge Simpson seem to think that this never happens and it does.  I also might not have the time to get to the county board of elections within the 6 days after I cast a provisional ballot (pages 66-67 in the decision).  Again, the judge demonstrates his disregard of people’s real world circumstances.  Let’s see, a “sworn statement”.  That needs a notary, right?  Or maybe a judge or perhaps the judge of elections. And do we expect notaries to do things for free?  Even if there is no charge, again, if people must work and can’t get somewhere in “business hours”, then they are not being treated equally.

One thing that is good about this decision?  It does show that the attempts in Ohio to allow some counties extended voting hours and early voting determined by the way the county trends politically are looking less and less legal all of the time.

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